David Ackles was an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and child actor. He recorded four albums between 1968 and 1973, this being the fourth.
His third album American Gothic had received considerable critical acclaim in the US and UK but he struggled with the pressure of expectations when making the follow-up. He eventually withdrew from the recording studio and produced Five & Dime at home on a four-track recorder. He delivered "a modest and simple record" on time and under budget but the album was not heavily promoted and did not fare well. Hurt and frustrated, Ackles did not search for another record deal and instead concentrated on fulfilling his publishing contract with Warner Bros, writing songs to order for the label's artists.
Describing Ackles' style in 2003, critic Colin McElligatt wrote, "An unlikely clash of anachronistic show business and modern-day lyricism...deeply informs his recorded output. Alternately calling to mind Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin, Robbie Robertson, Tim Hardin, and Scott Walker, Ackles forged an utterly unique sound out of stray parts that comprise a whole that is as uncompromising as it is unrivalled".
Although he never gained wide commercial success, he influenced other artists, especially British singer-songwriters such as Elvis Costello and Elton John both of whom declared themselves fans. Ackles died in March 1999 and after his death Costello said, "It's a mystery to me why his wonderful songs are not better known”.
Everybody Has a Story, I've Been Loved, Jenna Saves, Surf's Down, Berry Tree, One Good Woman's Man, Run Pony Run, Aberfan, House Above the Strand, A Photograph of You, Such a Woman, Postcards
Album Review - Shindig, July 2018